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Modular Vehicles Update

The modular vehicles are here along with changes to how you obtain air transport and other optimizations and improvements!

02 July 2020
Back in May we introduced a special Beta branch which included the new work-in-progress modular cars. This later made it into Staging, and now modular cars have reached the main game. These have been in concept limbo for a long time, with the earliest concepts coming from exactly five years ago in DevBlog 67. A follow-up blog imagined how they might work, and eventually a full set of placeholder modules got made, sometime before I joined the Rust team. When a few of us joined the team last year, my previous experience coding vehicles (and in fact, modular ones) got me the job of making modular cars a reality, along with specifications from Helk, new 3D models for all modules from Thai, audio from Alex (Rehberg), art and icons from Howie, and FX from Petur. And a lot of code review from André who resolutely read through screeds of changes. When the Vehicles branch finally merged into the Main branch on the 9th of June, there were almost 2,500 new or changed files. So here we are today. Functionality may still change and modules may still be added, but modular cars are now ready. So how do you get one?

How it all works

Currently modular cars can be found around the map near roads, with a semi-random selection of modules attached. Minicopters and Scrap Helicopters don't spawn on roads anymore - see elsewhere in this blog post for the new information on those. Cars come in three chassis varieties; essentially short, medium, and long. Rather than repeat nearly everything here, please see the "Getting Your Car Going" section of the earlier Vehicles Beta blog post for all the information on how to obtain and maintain a modular car (if that link doesn't take you to the right section, try refreshing the page again). The major difference between that post and now is that you can now craft vehicle modules yourself - it's only the chassis that can't be crafted. You're also now able to add a lock to your car at a vehicle lift, which will prevent access without a key.

Central locking

A lock can be added to a modular car at a vehicle lift. One "lock" adds locks to all doors and loot areas on the car, protecting access to the mount points as well as to the engine bay(s) and any storage. The initial lock comes with one key (unlike door locks, even the creator requires a key for access), and more keys can be generated if desired. The car's doors are locked by default when there's no-one inside. Once someone is in, they can use the central locking switch to unlock the doors if they like, so that people without keys can get into the other seats. To break into a car without a key, one of its cockpit modules (one with a driver's seat) must be reduced to 15% health or less. At that point the lock can be broken with an interaction.
I reduced vehicle input lag by up to 100ms by forcing new positions to be sent out immediately after the physics system updated them on the server. This applies to the modular cars, but also all other vehicles.
I polished road intersection handling and road layout smoothing to make roads easier to travel along with cars. In the process of doing this we also increased the width of the side roads and slightly increased the default world size from 4250 to 4500. Finally, roadside decor will no longer spawn on top of roads around intersections.
Gone are the days of finding helicopters randomly along the road. That method of introducing players to helicopters was always meant to be temporary. Taking its place is a new shop at the bandit town called Air Wolf. Here you will find a new type of NPC which when used will open a conversation dialog with you. You can buy a minicopter for 750 scrap and a transport helicopter for 1250 scrap. If you head to the rear of the shop and up the stairs you'll also find a traditional shopkeeper NPC who sells Tier 2 engine components. We're going to really press this system moving forward and add places to buy boats and horses, expect this system to be expanded in the future with missions and quests.
Safe zones are actually safe now.


  • Fully encapsulated bandit town in a safe zone
  • Animals no longer attack players in safe zones
  • You can no longer draw a weapon in a safe zone
  • Players who are not considered hostile take no damage in safe zones (anti roof camper) and sleepers are automatically killed after 20 minutes inside a safe zone instead of needing an NPC to find them
  • Many more recyclers were added to the compound.
You'll also notice a small icon in the corner of your screen when you are considered hostile as well as the time remaining when you open your inventory. This should prevent any confusion on why you're being shot when entering a safe zone. Let's see how this plays out!
I found that some of our world-space grids were taking up a lot of memory because they were always fully loaded for the entire map. They now only load the areas around your player. From our testing, this change reduces memory usage by 800 MB. When looking into how to optimize the CPU time spent on Rust's UI I noticed that turning all of the UI off and then on again makes it use 66% less CPU (or 0.5ms a frame). Best of all: it only needs to be done once! So I made Rust turn the UI off and on again right after loading. I think we're going to need someone from Unity to explain that one. I've also made some minor improvements to tree rendering, LODs, and GC allocations.
On September 2015 Petur had a desire to make a small combat-oriented no-build map known as Savas Island. Savas has stood the test of time exceptionally well over the years, only requiring the occasional minor update every few months but with lack of continued development, it has fallen increasingly further behind. It has been decided we'll discontinue Savas Island and will no longer be accessible from August 6th. We'd like to thank Rustafied for their continued support in hosting Savas over these years. Hapis Island will follow the same fate at some point in the distant future, we'll release more details when the time is right.
On July 9th at 19:00 BST / 14:00 EDT we'll be releasing a mandatory update, server owners please be aware as you'll need to update your servers. No player progression will be lost during update. We'll be releasing more information on this update in the coming days.


  • Added Modular Cars
  • Added Airwolf


  • Can now push minicopters
  • Vehicle textures now visibly degrade as a vehicle takes damage
  • Doors/gates can no longer close while blocked by a vehicle
  • EAC SDK update
  • All vehicles send out network ticks immediately after they have a new position on the server to reduce input lag
  • Default world size is now 4500
  • Side roads are slightly wider
  • Smoother road layout (both vertically and horizontally)
  • Smoother road joining (at intersections)
  • Moved roadside decor slightly further away from the road
  • Slight road terrain offset tweak to prevent ground peaking through around intersections
  • Fully encapsulated bandit town in a safe zone
  • Animals no longer attack players in safe zones
  • You can no longer draw a weapon in a safe zone
  • Players who are not considered hostile take no damage in safe zones (anti roof camper) and sleepers are automatically killed after 20 minutes inside a safe zone instead of needing an NPC to find them
  • Many more recyclers were added to the compound.
  • Slightly increased blocker, combiner, branch, memorycell and rand switch culling distance
  • Large banners now decay when placed outside of building privilege
  • Increased minicopter decay time outdoors to 8 hours, inside to 36 hours


  • Fixed custom skins not appearing on third person models for most tools and melee weapons
  • Fixed some weapons not centering properly when aiming down sights on ultrawide resolutions (compound bow particularly)
  • Fixed tool cupboard getting destroyed if triangle spiral stairs were destroyed at other side of wall
  • Fixed world reflection quality 2 being too bright inside player buildings
  • Fixed roadside decor sometimes spawning on road at intersections
  • Fixed unable to mount sofas at bandit camp
  • Fixed allowing players to place items into minecart container
  • Fixed Jerry can clipping on rowboat
  • Fixed triangle grill and ladder hatch bounds
  • Fixed cave_updown_a inside terrain antihack false positive
  • Fixed HBHF sensor not receiving damage
  • Fixed small wooden box being deployed inside trees
  • Fixed NPCAutoTurrets shooting shopkeepers or conversation providers
  • Fixed repeating outs while near the Launch site monument (hopefully)
  • Fixed scope overlay size changing with UI scale


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